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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My four and half year old son had an incident about six weeks

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My four and half year old son had an incident about six weeks ago in day care. He asked another little boy if he could pull his pants down and "smell his buttocks". When the boy agree my son proceeded. The day care, my husband and I addressed the incident with him and explained this was unacceptable behavior. We thought all was well until this evening. We had a little boy over for a playdate and he announced that my son asked him to pull his own pants down.
At this point we are unsure of the direction to take.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Dear concerned parent,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

This kind of behavior stems purely from curiosity and not from perversion, in any sense of the word. He will probably not do this any longer because you have instructed him on proper behavior..

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

A four year old is a totally innocent spirit, and has no malice or perversion in with this act. It is purely curiosity.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Does your son show any other behavior that you find unusual or disturbing?

Customer:

No we do not find any of his behavior unusual or disturbing. But we are concerned because this is the second incident so to speak. He knew immediately what he did was wrong.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

The circumstances were different between the two incidents. One he acted, and two he asked. The subtleties of logic are too complex for a 4 year old.

Customer:

How would you suggest we proceed with instruction for him. How should we explain this is not acceptable? What punishments, if any, would be appropriate in this kind of situation.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Do you think he now understands that this is something he shouldn't do? The concept of rules of society is a difficult one. He has limited experience and understanding.

Customer:

We thought he got it the first time, but tried again in a different way.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

No punishment would be helpful and might even be harmful to him. Rather, keep explaining to him that he cannot do this any more or they will not let him stay in the day care center.. It is a no-no.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Does he understand now that he should not do this again?

Customer:

We do believe he understands he should not do this.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Then this problem is probably over with. He is probably just a normal, curious little boy whose curiosity led him to a part of the anatomy that makes most adults get overly excited and concerned, unjustifiably, because a little bit of instruction and parenting makes this quickly turn into a non-issue.

Customer:

Atr what point then should we be concerened there could be an issue?

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

I have a 4 year old grandchild (and formerly had 3 other 4 year-olds of my own). They are precious, innocent, and naive, and have not learned to be ashamed of things that we adults now avoid and consider awful. Sometimes we adults make a mountain out of a molehill and we reinforce our activities and

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

sometimes we adults tend to, as they say in mental health, "catastrophize".

Customer:

Unfortunately these kinds of things can get a child expelled from school and alienated from friends. We would like to nip this in the bud. We understand this comes from an innocent place but we have to ensure it does not happen in the future.

Customer:

Shame is not the issue here but boundaries are.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

He is learning his boundariesl.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

HIs being confident of your support and love are top priorities.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

The best way to insure that it does not happen again is to gently, remind him once or twice

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

that he should not ever do anything like this again.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

He is intelligent and he is not rebellious, so you should not have a problem. He is a good and decent boy and not a trouble-maker.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you